Last Resort Series Finale Review: That Sinking Feeling

Last Resort S01E13: "Controlled Flight Into Terrain"

Did you ever see the episode of South Park called "Casa Bonita"? You know, the one where Cartman gets all jazzed up to go to this weird Mexican-themed restaurant that has a fake pirate's cave, cliff divers, and yummy enchiladas? Well at the end of the episode, the cops are closing in on him (as cops often do with that fatass) and all he can do is run as quickly through the restaurant as he can to experience every attraction one last time, if even only for a microsecond. That's what the conclusion to ABC's miniseries Last Resort felt like, and we all know why.

For future generations that find this article after streaming the finale on their pupil implants and wondering what the fudge was up with that ending, here's the deal. Creators Shawn Ryan and Karl Gajdusek got the call of doom from ABC after writing the episode as though it was just Episode 13 and not the series finale. So the pair got out their erasers and rewrote large chunks of the episode to turn it into the final installment of Last Resort. It's totally shitty that that had to happen, but given the unforgiving circumstances they faced, I'd say Ryan and Gajdusek did a bang-up job. If nothing else, no one can say "Controlled Flight Into Terrain" was boring.

Ryan and Gajdusek insist that the bulk of "Controlled Flight Into Terrain" was just as intended, and the groundwork for another cardiac episode was in place as Prosser's mutiny got Xzibit'd (yo dawg I heard you like mutinies so I put a mutiny in your mutiny) and our loony tunes part-time mercenary, full-time rapist Anders took the con and the launch keys with the intent of selling the Colorado to the Chinese. That's one heck of a mid-season finale if I ever heard of one, and given the quality of the previous handful of episodes, I have no doubt that it would have been amazing.

Instead, about four hours' worth of television drama were compressed into a single episode—three of those hours in the last ten minutes—for a series finale that had no choice but to move at Mach speeds. It was just as much a look into the cruel business of television as it was a hurried wrap-up of an intriguing story. In fact, if you squint your eyes just so and listen very carefully, the episode almost becomes a self-aware metaphor for what was happening behind the scenes.

And in this hare-brained metaphor, Marcus Chaplin, the brave captain who steered the steel tube through troubled waters, represents Ryan and Gajdusek. The USS Colorado is obviously the show itself, and Chaplin's refusal to leave the ship behind and let it fall into the hands of the Chinese is Last Resort's showrunners displaying their belief in the series, giving it all until the very end. Wait! Stay with me here! The FA-18 fighter jets sent to blow up the Colorado were the impending and unstoppable cancellation (FA = "From ABC," 18 = "18-49 demo"), and the sub crew and other horrified onlookers represent us, the viewers who believed in the show and the men behind it. I'm obviously a mix of Sam Kendall and James King because I did 20 pushups the other day and once found a hint of a jawline when I was shaving. Ladies, if you think you can be Tani or Sophie or Christine, go ahead and send me a sexy picture. Let's call the Chinese Zero Hour, the show that will take Last Resorts's slot. The president of the United States is obviously ABC, and the evil puppet masters in Washington are the poor scheduling decisions (or GREAT conspiracy) to put Last Resort in a terrible time slot. (Opposite Thursday-night football, The Big Bang Theory, AND The X Factor? Come on, ABC, this was clearly a 10pm show that needed the male audience that would also watch football.) I'll admit that this metaphor sounded better after five beers last night, but I still think it holds some water.

So what did happen as a result of wrapping things up so quickly? Marcus went down with the ship, which I approve of. Sam, Prosser, Grace and the rest of the crew made it home and the conspiracy was in the process of being revealed to the public. James and Tani's relationship was quickly given one last look, but that's a storyline that needed a lot more time to grow and really, James should have taken the shot on Zheng. I don't think any of us would have complained if the shifty diplomat's brain matter ended up in the back seat of that Jeep. What happened to the island remains unclear, with Sophie pawing at Sam on a video screen (sad) and Serrat left to do who knows what. Kylie got the most insane, bleak, pitch-black ending of all, shooting Robert, because with his involvement in the attempted coup he was fucked anyway and it gave the Washington bad guys reason to believe Kylie was on their side. But Kylie wasn't done, and at the end she strolled into a fancy D.C. politico cocktail hour and shot the president! To death! We didn't see what happened to her, but I'm guessing the carpet ran red with her insides as the Secret Service opened her up with bullet art. And to those of you saying it's preposterous that her dad convinced security to wave her through a pat down, give me a break. The only real crime there is that the extra playing the security guy didn't get to rub his hands on Autumn Reeser. I feel for you, bro.

When you look back at the episode, it's incredible to recount just how much happened in those final moments and how it closed up the series in a mostly satisfying manner. It didn't always make the most sense, but given the constraints of the reality of the situation, I'm impressed. And I was definitely entertained.

Some out there will tell you that the early cancellation was a blessing in disguise and that Last Resort was better off as a miniseries anyway. But they're wrong! I always thought what we saw—the conflict with the U.S.—was a preamble to what Last Resort was really meant to be. With the island's mineral-rich resources, Sainte Marina was about to become one of the richest nations in the world, and Marcus would be sitting on a pile of wealth with tons of nuclear missiles ready to fire in his harbor. That's security. Financial and military independence was half-a-season away, and that's when the real fun would have started as a new superpower suddenly sprang up in the middle of the ocean. Marcus and Sam would've had to build some sort of national infrastructure with laws and public service, causing all sorts of complications as a Constitution was hastily drawn up. Last Resort was about a military standoff. But if it had gotten the chance, it would have been about creating a new nation. This thing was far from over.

But we'll never see Marcus trade his Wayfarers for standard-issue dictator-sized Aviators and carry a scepter as the powerful leader of Marcustan. We won't get to see Sam choose between the blonde attached to his finger or the French brunette right in front of him. We won't see how far into the dark side Kylie would have gone. We won't see James and Tani be Tarzan and Jane of the jungle. Thankfully Last Resort was given the chance to go out partially on its own terms, and it didn't half-sack it. As for you ABC, thank you for giving this kind of ambitious show a chance. But next time, schedule it so it has a chance. You've been warned.



NOTES

– I didn't even get to write about the great talks between Sam and Marcus in the first three-quarters of the episode. Their debate about who was crazier was fantastic.

– Who else wanted to see it end with Marcus launching all those nukes everywhere?

– Grace: "You touch him and you'll need a turkey baster to have kids." Grace, I love you.

– I would have loved to have seen one last scene with Curry (Jay Karnes). I miss that guy.

– A couple of good post-finale interviews with Ryan and Gajdusek are out online. Check out Eric Goldman's interview with Gajdusek at IGN and Alan Sepinwall's talk with Ryan over at Hitfix for details on what was rewritten and where the show was headed.



Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Episode 1 airs here in Australia next week, and as like the UK it is be ing pushed as a mini series.

I enjoyed it a lot, bit ham here and there but overall it was watchable. For the record, I think Kylie would have been taken out by her Dad, and thats where the twist would have been. The USB to Sams wife, Kylies failed assassination, SAMS wife goes viral with the USB to the media, shit hits the fan, and there was Series 2.

RIP Marcus "you da man"
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Gonna miss that show it was in a horrible time slot could never get my TiVo to record it passed some of my favorite shows unless there was a re run! Always had to catch it on xfinity on demand bad play ABC!!! It had a lot of potential!!! RIP MARKUS CHAPMAN!!!
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WTF! That was a horrible ending no less ending a great show. I'm not sure how long the story could continue but jeez this SUCKS!!!!
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I loved this show and I thought the ending was very well done considering the circumstances. I thought the great lines abound in this very well acted series, particularly, the interaction between Marcus and Sam. Once again, bad programming kills a show though I will admit I'm not sure if this plot had several seasons in it. Still, it deserved a chance to see if it would work. I will miss Last Resort and hope these actors and directors get recognized for a job well done.
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I loved this show...granted I couldn't watch it at the time it air because big bang was on but I watch immediately afterward. Sad to see it go.
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I just feel sad it's all over very soon with many unanswered questions.
Gonna miss the crews of USS Colorado.
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It's funny .. Last Resort is just being advertise for this year's lineup on Australian TV ... and it is being billed as a "mini-series"
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Even worse, here in the UK, they advertise TV shows that have been cancelled as 'US TV hits'!!!!
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Ahahahha. Worse indeed.
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Marcus Chaplin the ultimate oath keeper. I loved every episode. I was always completely entertained. Given the time they had, the wrap up mostly satisfying. I'm not sure any ending would have suited me as I loved it too much to want it to end. Please, put this out on a DVD. I'd buy it.
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I think that, within the possibilities they had, they did a great job. Although there are a lot of open ends and questions why certain things happened, most of it came together in the end. It felt a bit like reading a condensed version of a book instead of the whole one. You know there is more to tell, you just don't have it in your hand.

It's almost a shame that cancellation came on a moment they could wrap, this made it impossible for another network or cable to pick it up.
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But we'll never see Marcus trade his Wayfarers for standard-issue dictator-sized Aviators and carry a scepter as the powerful leader of Marcustan. We won't get to see Sam choose between the blonde attached to his finger or the French brunette right in front of him. We won't see how far into the dark side Kylie would have gone. We won't see James and Tani be Tarzan and Jane of the jungle.

all of this is exactly what i wanted from this show and what i expected it to give me
i have to say though, i'm not as sad as i was when i found out about the cancellation
maybe it's because the not-delivery of those promises (not due to lack of quality but to the cancellation itself of course) kinda let me down
forever missed
and f*** u ABC
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Oh goodie just read there were behind the scenes makings of Last resort?!! Good because I was so not ready to say goodbye to this serie. It struck a chord most series hardly do anymore these days. I can admit I did shed some tears in the end, mostly for Marcus. I loved his character and strenght!
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Yeah it was abrupt ending in the last few minutes. How da hell did Sam and others escape to homeland without being arrested? What is the purpose of mousy Sam's wife captivity? So many why's that never will be answered coz of selfishness of empty headed producers.

Last few episodes were messy, sometimes everything was making no sense. Political conspiracy is a dangerous ground for good television series. "Realistic" feeling was long gone after 6 episode. But anyway the acting was great, especially Andre Braugner.
I'm still not sure what happened but it was promising journey that some TV big shots ruined with their incompetent tactics (they could shoot within reasonable budget limiting all scenes to island and submarine). Potential clever drama was sucked into messy action-packed conspiracy theory series hurried by premature cancellation. And btw if I were in Sam's shoes I'd stay with seductive hot french girl on Island and forget about mousy wife.
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Way TOO MUCH for American audiences, I guess. Beer, Ball Game and Porn rule!
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Last Resort was a show that kept my attention throughout every episode. I have seen a lot of shows come and go but this one was a strategist's dream as you were always trying to figure out where the show was going with each episode and trying to relate it to the real world environment...mixing facts and fiction.....I am going to miss this show as I looked forward to it every Thursday evenings and enjoyed watching the behind the scenes making of the Last Resort.
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Last Resort would have made a great series on a different network. ABC has a way of setting up interesting series for failure. I think LR would have survived longer on a cable network. I'm sorry to see it go, but I did enjoy the finale. Kudos to Ryan and Gajdusek for wrapping it up so well.
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The bottom line for me was that this was always too much of a "thinking" show. It's not a fluffy sitcom where you sit down for your half hour, laugh a little, and go on with your life. It makes you ask questions, and I don't think that's what a lot of tv fans are looking for. I for one hope more smart shows like this make it! It wasn't perfect, but it at least got me thinking.
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I really enjoyed the final moments, they were an absolute mix of power, cliffhangers and yet resolving open endings, channeling the end of The Dark Knight. The entire series however was a lot more boring. I didn't care for half of the stuff that was going on and everyone's motives were either so unclear or unrealistic that it made the, otherwise appealing, changing teams strategy feel rather empty. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted, but I won't miss it.
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Bottom line-when the chips were down, the "crew" shortened an otherwise 8 years series down to 1 season, and they pulled it off- yes, maybe not what one expected, but they scored
Maybe, just maybe the concept can bring a story complete in 1 season, not 5-10
show creators need to think more outside the boxe, tell the story better!!!!
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Wow, is Zero Hour really the show that's going to take over this slot? It looks unbelievably bad. It doesn't just look *bad*, it looks like a show that has NO chance of getting decent ratings. Networks seem to delay their cancellation decisions these days (or at least their cancellation announcements), so I'm not going to say that it's definitely going to get pulled early, but I predict that the ratings will fall to 1.1 or less within 5 episodes.

"Some say that the nazis stole that secret, in an attempt to harness evil." -- LOL
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I thought that this was a terrible episode, and a terrible ending for the series. But it's understandable, given the circumstances.

This show had a lot of potential, but they squandered it away early, but focusing on silly problems on the island and on internal conflicts (some of which didn't even make much sense to me) instead of on the reasons why Pakistan got nuked in the first place. They should have shown us more of Washington and less of Sainte Marina.

They should never have made the unbelievably godawful episode 6 (the one with the chemical attack). The episode was called "Another fine navy day". "How to torpedo your own show" would have been a more appropriate title. This episode was aired when the show desperately needed to improve its ratings. I knew that it was over when I saw that episode. By the way, ironythat was a great time to stop doing weekly reviews./irony

They should have shown us a lot more about how the rest of the world reacted to the unbelievably horrible mass murder of several millions of innocent civilians that happened in the first episode. All we got was a tiny suggestion that the rest of the world sort of didn't like it. In reality, I think the consequences would be enormous. It would be logical for the rest of the world to sever all ties with the USA, but can they do that without tanking the world's economy? Will they do it anyway? I would have wanted to see something about that. I don't know what the world would do, but one thing is for sure: TV around the world would have been filled with images of Pakistani children slowly dying in horrible agony for the entire duration of the show.

What about Pakistan's reaction? Wouldn't they retaliate? It made no sense to completely ignore that aspect of the story.

What about the rest of the USA's reaction? Would the president really be able to stay in office?

What about the crew? A lot of them should be really pissed off at the president, but we never saw any anger directed at anyone but the captain. The implication is that everyone who joined Robert Patrick's mutiny thought it was a *great* idea to nuke Pakistan, that the captain should have done it without hesitation even though the order wasn't delivered correctly, and that it's all the captain's fault that their own navy tried to kill them. I would have wanted to see more of their internal discussions, or better yet, that there had been only a handful of people on the crew who felt that way.

The Autumn Reeser story was too disconnected from the island. They should have come up with a way for her to communicate with the sub around episode 5 or so.

The last few episodes were stupid. These are a few things I really didn't like:

* Did the Californication guy really kidnap Jessy Schram just to demand a ransom *from that SEAL guy*?! I can't make sense of that.

* Was murdering the president really the best idea that Autumn Reeser's character could think of? It seems stupid. I understand that she wanted revenge, but she should have been able to come up with something that's not going to end *her* life as well.

* The rapist guy going all crazy.

* Grace shooting at the computer equipment instead of at the people who were trying to take over the sub AND were willing to kill her. It makes no sense for a show that horribly murderers millions in the first episode to keep violence to a minimum.

* The whole idea of trying to push out the president by force instead of by showing the public what he had done.

* The politician who was going to take over the presidency getting a brief message that made him immediately announce that he's a traitor, and then kill himself. That was a major WTF moment.

* The captain choosing to go down with his ship.
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I totally agree with you. This show completely lost its way between the pilot and episode 5, and LOL, "How to torpedo your own show" is an apt description of episode 6, and what came after. Last Resort began life as a compelling political thriller and for some reason changed course in the direction of Gilligan’s Island.

* Too soapy Island centric and not enough submarine action and Washington intrigue.

* The Julian Serrat storyline belonged in the trash.

* Too much early emphasis on crew dissension, which instead of being a dramatic backdrop, became the focus of entire episodes.

* The Christine kidnapping only makes sense if Defense Secretary Curry was behind it. This was a gaping plot hole that wasn't satisfactorily explained in the finale, and if the series had been continued I think it would've just been a silly device to get Sam and Sophie together.

All in all a mojor disappointment, both on the part of ABC Network and the show runners.
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I wanted to see it end with something being nuked as well, but I guess they would never do that. Ah well. Anyway, I was going to say the same thing as Tim even before I clicked on the thread and read that he said it already, so I'll just agree: there was WAY too much in this single episode.

I don't think this show could have lasted another season (though you never know... if they fled the island in the sub and spent episode two always 'running' in the ocean), but it could have lasted a few more episodes. Instead, it gets canned at 13 while much, MUCH worse shows get extended or even get an early ticket for a second season. This year has been more baffling than usual.
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This is why ABC has such market share.. They kill the shows people like. Look at the ratings on IMDB 7+ rating out of 10. I never get to watch it when it airs on tv so I stream it from HULU. If they look at the ABC.COM and HULU market I bet this show was well worth keeping.
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Chew on this... Last Resort got 13 episodes. The Neighbors got 22 (and counting...)
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The CW keeping shows like Beauty and the Beast while cancelling shows like Reaper made me an agnostic. I'm afraid this moves me all the way to atheist. *sigh*
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Sorry to see it end. I really enjoyed the story line. I wonder why they threatened to send a nuke to Dundalk Maryland ?
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...because it was Chaplin's hometown.
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And if you'd ever been to Dundalk, you wouldn't need to ask that question. :-) Maybe the producers have and that's why they chose to make it Chaplin's hometown.
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Ummm... One: Oh the metaphor still holds... Oh, hell yeah. ;->> Two: I feel for the extra guy, too, and hey! I'm a girl, and a straight one... ;-P Three: Sam and Marcus deliberating on who's more insane... Killed me. ;-D Four: Marcustan!!! Just... ;-D, and last but not least Five: Grace... oh so graceful with her words. ;-> But, seriously. The show had flaws... ok, maybe quite many of them.. but who needed a realistic stuff... it is a tv show, not a documentary, and it was thrilling, sometimes confusing, and had nukes in it! Plus, all the technical stuff aside, the characters were really compelling and grew on me, it's a shame ABC's let it go.
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Seriously, I think it was cancelled because it was too close to reality. Our real corrupt government didn't want the masses to find out how they really screw everyone over for their own advantage and how nothing in Washington D. C,. is sacred.
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I'm not prone to pop conspiracy theory, but since I learned of it's cancellation I've had that same thought gnawing at me more & more often. (I hold the same opinion of why Jericho was ultimately thrown under the bus as well)

the American gov't tends to prefer consumers over thinkers. Shows like these help illustrate the night and day difference between loving a country & the people and corporations that run it. It's logical that those with the power would attempt to slow the zeitgeist wherever and wherever possible.
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Yeah, gave me the Jericho feeling all over again, too.
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A very bitter-sweet ending to the show. On one hand we get an actual conclusion to the story but why did it have to end in the first place?
Shows fail because they are either just bad or can't find the right audience, why isn't there some cable exec looking at shows like this, just waiting to pick up the option on season 2 and giving them a decent home?
Of course with the Colorado laying at the bottom of shallow water a rescue by a freindly network is a moot point.
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Well there is such a thing called an alternate ending. If someone WANTED to pick it up I wouldn't mind if they reshot parts of the episode recut it and retool it into a season finale, adding the original as an alternate version to the blu-rays...

okay, enough dreaming. Last Resort will be missed. So much potential. Reminds me a lot of Firefly.
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Love firefly. Still watch it over and over on DVD. And the feature length "Serenity" was a much more satisfying wrap up of the series than the cobbled together ending of Last Resort.
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True. But somehow I doubt they would have gotten the chance to make a feature film to conclude Last Resort.

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I'm sure you're right. Pleasant fantasy though. Trying to visually imagine a feature length ending in my head.
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Oh!, and Last Resort was quite good and I'll definitely miss it, but uh, I STILL miss Shawn Ryan's other show (with Ted Griffin), Terriers, much more. The ONE time I felt cable canceled a show too early (well, Boss too, but Starz is barely cable).
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The show had its problems but I agree that the best was yet to come! A season 2 centered around the building of a new nation would have indeed made for great television!
The story had a lot of potential and I'm sad that we won't get to see it unfold
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It wasn't a perfect finale episode but I thought it was great considering how late they got the news of their cancellation. The worst part of it was certainly how much was squeezed into the 42 minutes, having most of the episode feeling rushed -- plot lines that were intended to last numerous episodes or seasons were given some form of conclusions. The best part? Everything else. I liked how things turned out. There was no way Capt. Chaplin was going back, so him going crazy and dying with the ship was perfect.
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All too often shows like this are cancelled. I've got to be honest when we watched episode 1 we knew it wouldnt last. I am so glad they managed to finish up the story makes a complete change!
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Marcus and Sam debating about who's crazier was awesome! especially calling the rapist and asking him for an opinion, him being the authority on crazy! :)

I love that Grace and Prosser got closer fighting the mutineers and joking about his injuries, he was always questioning her being a female officer or whatever.. but in the end he saw that she is as much a soldier as he is.
his kissing the ground when they landed home was a bit much though.

sorry the show is over.. like so many others, it was cancelled for all the wrong reasons.
hope Andre Braugher gets a new show real soon.

you're alright Tim! :)
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Ok, I'll admit it, I teared up at the end. Brilliant performances, the cast at least got a chance to play and play they did. Was that Cobb kissing the ground, by the way?

André Braugher must be cast immediately for the role on Son of Anarchy as the boss of the bad dope guy who needs someone to bring him down. Grace, come back to us as the commander of a ship or a whole base. She's the hottest thing with balls since (name a female sports figure).

I guess shows like Last Resort are hugely polarizing with some of us saying, "damn, this was the best morality play ever" (it is after all just a very modern western with a black man in the sheriff's part) and others saying, "meh that never could happen".

In any case, TV watchers will get what they deserve, more inane reality shows.

Fortunately, we still have Tim. He hasn't change since high school, so I'll write in his yearbook, "Tim, don't ever change!"
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Cancelling Last Resort is probably one of the biggest mistakes (among others) made by ABC, but in TV world we are at the mercy of the networks and it is known that they do not care a shit about us viewers.
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You are not the networks' customer, so no, your opinion doesn't matter. Networks are in the business of delivering eyeballs to advertisers, and if the eyeballs aren't there, neither are the advertisers. Blaming a network for not scheduling a show correctly is fair, but complaining that they cancel a low-rated show is not.
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are you fucking serious? This could've been the best show abc could have had in its shit portfolio and they fuck it all up like this? Never has there been a worst finale on t.v.It surpassed that idiot david chase with his catastrophe of a finale for sopranos. Im still gonna kick his ass if i get to see him in restaurant some day. However, Last Resort's finale was like a bad trip gone real fucking bad. What a waste of my time and life. Someone give me back my hours as i vow never to watch an abc show in my life again.
Buncha fuckin' suits!!
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I will really miss Marcus Chaplin. The performance of Andre Braugher was really one you see rarely on TV shows. He acted the shit out of that character with that magnificient presence and would have deserved much more appreciation for his work.
I'm still unsure if I would have enjoyed 6 seasons of Last Resort with twists and turns and endless storylines. From the beginning I think a 1-season or miniseries format would be most fitting. On the other hand they managed to scratch on so many great topics which I would have loved to unfold - like the revolution in DC or the nation building on the island. Or the scenario of a 3rd world war from the POV of everyone on San Marina. It could have gone many ways and it probably would have. One of the more thought provoking shows of the last years, I will miss Last Resort.
RIP Last Resort.
RIP Marcus Chaplin.
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Thank you Tim for this opportunity to talk about Last Resort one last time.
This was such a great show and the finale was incredibly great, even more so considering all the circumstances. I was literally on the edge of my seat the entire time. It was like watching some great high budget movie. Everybody acted their asses off especially Braugher and Speedman, everything was incredibly intense, WAY too intense for 8 pm. even if Last Resort DIDNT have all that competition it would have a hard time surviving in that timeslot because of it's intensity.
But the competition was all there, and the show was doomed from day one.
Everyone except the idiots at ABC knew it, even before the show aired it's pilot.
Why didn't ABC even try to do something about that? Did they not know this show was as great as it was, did they not know it was very intense and mature in places?
Doesn't ABC have to read the scripts/ watch every episode before they let it on the air or something? It boggles the mind how this could have happened.
Last Resort was a gem that should have been on FX, the pussies at ABC didn't deserve it.
ABC doesn't deserve the immeasurable talent of people such as Shawn Ryan and Andre Braugher.
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100% agree

what bothers me is that apparently ABC spent a lot of $ on the show so why didn't they give it a better date/time slot? I can't believe they are really that stupid

Maybe they thought it was unique enough to capture viewers but after the first couple of ratings came back they should of moved the show.

agree---It would of been much better on FX which is becoming a fantastic network...let's hope they don't start screwing things up since they are now getting more recognition.
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I'm surprised Ryan didn't go to FX first, and if he did, that they didn't pick it up right away, with half the budget. "The Shield" ran for 7 seasons there, it put FX on the map, gave it the reputation it's trying to build on now. So it's a no-brainer that they should keep working together and Ryan should be able to do pretty much whatever he pleases, with a reasonable budget of course. Maybe FX wanted it but Ryan didn't want to lower the budget, maybe FX only wanted some variation of a relatively cheap to produce gritty cop drama from him
again, but he really wanted to make an ambitious high budget drama show.Who knows. Let's hope FX doesn't go the AMC route and pisses away their good reputation like they did. Right now FX is on fire, not counting a few mistakes here and there.
ABC greenlit this probably because Ryan promised them this would be the next LOST, and any major network would kill for something like that. That's why Lost wannabe shows keep popping up on different channels. It's a shame ABC didn't spend a lot of money to market the show better. It surely was expensive but without aggressive marketing everywhere possible, no show can win against unstoppable juggernauts like football, Big Bang Theory AND X-Factor. It's just impossible. How could ABC not know that?
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"no show can win against unstoppable juggernauts like football, Big Bang Theory AND X-Factor. It's just impossible. How could ABC not know that?"....it's like they wanted it to fail which doesn't make sense. I know some people will blame the show itself but I don't. I think it was an excellent show and there are much crappier shows on tv. I just don't understand ABCs decision making!
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FX screwed up royally when they cancelled Terriers. One of the best new series on ANY network in years, and they cancelled it after on season. Critical acclaim alone can't carry a show!
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Terriers was indeed excellent, but I can't call cancelling a show that got extremely bad ratings a screw up. There must have been something wrong with their advertising, since almost no one showed up for the first episode. *That* was the screw up.
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Terriers was excellent--your right, they really screwed up canceling it--should of advertised it more and maybe put it on at a different time or just given it a chance to succeed by word of mouth. Ok, FX isn't perfect but it's still one of the better channels. Yes, they screwed up with Terriers but other networks have screwed up worse. I'm hoping FX doesn't screw up again but I wouldn't be surprised (cynical)

Boss (on stars) won awards for season 1 but they cancelled it so there were only 2 seasons...it was also a great show--example of your point on critical acclaim alone not being enough:(
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As long as FX keeps Archer and Justified on the air I'm happy. "The Americans" could be another win for them (fingers crossed) Only 3 more days until we find out.
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I really liked this show and loved your review but I have to ask~~are all the women you know really uptight/prudes? I ask because you say "Come on, ABC, this was clearly a 10pm show that needed the male audience that would also watch football.)"

WTF kind of women do you hang out with? Maybe it was supposed to be humorous but I don't think it was meant to be. Do you have current statistics on what shows women prefer? Ok enough ranting....sorry if I went overboard. Other that that one sentence your review was "spot on" and was FANTASTIC. I agree with you about the potential longevity the show had--rare minerals, etc...

Very insightful the analogy of ABC as the destroyers and the creators as Marcus.

I'd like to add your comment of " I put a mutiny in your mutiny and our loony tunes part-time mercenary, full-time rapist Anders took the con and the launch keys with the intent of selling the Colorado to the Chinese". Anders was ALSO going to nuke the US (forgot the state he was aiming for but I think it was Marcus's hometown.

" I put a mutiny in your mutiny"---LMAO

I kind of wanted Marcus to launch the nukes but he wasn't crazy imo. He seems heroic with high standards and high expectations of people. Also a unique blend of realism and naiveté (or optimism) imo. He was a captain who went down with his ship to ensure the Chinese didn't get the technology. Patriotic (almost fanatically so) to the country (not the "current' leaders...excellent distinction he made).

It sucked that they had to rush the ending but I completely understand why that had to (ABC sucks!!) and they did a good job with the limits they had.

I can't believe she shot the president! awesome:) lol

Despite my feelings about the one sentence, I really enjoyed the show, your review and your insightful comments about the show, the episode and the network/business behind (or not behind) the show.

I want to drill it into your head that there are tons of females out there that love what in the past may of been perceived as stereotypical "male" shows (imo). Some of my favorites include Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, AHS and even shows like American Ninja Warrior (cheesy but I still like it). Banshee is fine so far imo (haven't seen tonight's episode--I think it is on tonight). Last Resort was great for the few episodes it had and it had so much potential. It could of been a favorite....

I can't wait until POI is back on again:)

I already miss Last Resort:(

Thanks for the wonderful review
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What I think Tim was trying to say was that a lot of the people who were busy watching football would have enjoyed Last Resort too, but they couldn't because both were on at the same time, so they had to choose. Pretty much every show loses a lot of viewers when there's some sports event, except The Big Bang Theory.
If it was on later those who watched football would have watched this. Not all of them obviously (duh), but probably enough of them to save the show from cancellation.
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probably....

I read it a different way because in his Banshee review (and maybe The Following review--have to check) he made other comments that came off as sexist (women not liking actions shows or shows with violence/gore)

good point about football
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Don't you think that was maybe possibly more a suggestion that a massive chunk of the potential viewing audience was watching sport? I don't live in the US but in Aus when cricket or AFL is on at night a large chunk of the viewing audience is lost because that is live - you can record or download a tv show, but not so much sport. I understand women also watch sport (which I think is the point you were making) but I suspect gridiron in particular has more male than female viewers. I think this may have been the sarcastic point being raised but the real point is just the numbers who may have tuned in but couldn't.
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probably....

I read it a different way because in his Banshee review (and maybe The Following review--have to check) he made other comments that came off as sexist (women not liking actions shows or shows with violence/gore)

good point about it going against sports (agree that more men watch football then women even though women also watch football)..WTF was ABC thinking

Don't get me wrong, I loved Tim's review. I usually like Tim's reviews but he's had a couple recently that I completely disagreed with and every now and then he has a sentence or two that beings out the feminist in me;)

A couple days ago I hear they lifted the ban on women being in combat!! Yea!!! If men can die fighting for their country then so can women.
Per NBC news:
"Declaring that it would strengthen both the military and the country, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday lifted a ban on women in combat and said that it was “the responsibility of every citizen to protect the nation.”
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I hear you Vicky. And in fact one of the things I liked about Last Resort was the strong female characters. Maybe a reason ABC couldn't get behind it, you think.
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The first show in a long time that got me to actually care about the characters...the first show in a long time that actually made me wonder who was going to live and who was going to die, to actually put characters in danger (not the kind that you KNOW the character is going to magically get out of), the first in a long time to do a good job churning raw emotions, a first with realistic behaviors/reactions, great action, and great acting.

Think the last show to suck me in this deep was Battlestar Galatica. I literally gave this show a standing ovation when the episode was finished and then followed that with a good middle finger to ABC!!!
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I will be extremely disgusted for a very long time with ABC for canceling this series. I was really enjoying it, and the cast couldn't have been more spot on for the characters they played. The storyline was a little out there, but it's not out of the realm of feasibility. Men and women are put in charge of billion and trillion dollar vessels with nuclear capabilities and there is no telling what kind of bug they get in their heads. And in more situations than not, their crew is 150% behind them. That's how our military personnel are trained, to follow orders. Everything about the show kept me engaged during the entire hour it was on, and there haven't been many new series lately that do that, but every time I find one, they have to go and cancel it to bring in another "reality" show, which is really just a glorified singing contest. Bring back real TV and kick "reality" TV.
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Epic finale, yea it was rushed and some stuff was out of the blue, and some stories weren't completed for sure but with having as little time to end it they did a hell of a job, I was at the enge of my seat all episode, I loved Kylie's story of her having to shoot her friend and her revenge, when she shot the president, I was in shock, loved the sub scenes, Marcus and Sam talking was gold and the mutiny in the mutiny was just inspired. I loved the show and very sad it ended
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the finale simply suck, it raised more questions, very poor done, Last Resort could have been so much better, one option would have been eliminate the drug lord and give us the story back in DC !!!
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Or you know, give them another 9 episodes to wrap everything to YOUR content, but hey, why stop there, why not just give you your own network with your own shows that are written just how you want them?
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my content, it was a suggestion that the writers should have thought of themselves, in the 13 episodes they never covered WHY, and in the finale they did nothing!! I wished they would shoot the entire season, then air, but that is not how it works and it sucks, plus I'm not the only on that shares my opinion, so you comment of my own network and writing was out a line!!
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I think they did a great job with the finale. It is rare that a cancelled show even gets to or cares to take the time to change the writing and end the series with a final show. Kudos to Shawn Ryan for giving the audience an ending to an amazing show. Can't wait to see what he does next!
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Your so right! I was upset when Boss (Kelsey Grammer's show) was cancelled because they never tied up the loose ends (there were tons of cliffhangers that will never be resolved). Kudos to The Last Resort for trying to tie up the major loose ends
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It was a satisfying ending for me. I really did enjoy the show. Kudos to the writers who had to come up with something at the last minute.
Thumbs down to ABC for cancelling a good TV show without giving it the chance to grow.
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I enjoyed this show and am sad it wasn't given a chance. Not as sad as I was about Awake though...man I miss Awake!
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I really enjoyed it, taht said here is a bit of venting.
What I think is not very intelligent, and that makes little to no sense, is why is it that if they have an order for 13 episodes would they expect more?
If it was settled for 13 at the beginning, not, 20, 40 or a 100 why would the team involved think otherwise?
That gives everyone in charge of doing the writing, lighting, sounding, etc., a lot of time to finish properly the whole story. If the ending was poor that is the people doing the series fault.
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All new shows are given a 13 episode order (for network tv) and once ratings are in, they are either given a full season (20-24 episodes) or they are cancelled. So of course they (and the fans) were all hoping for more than 13 episodes!
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Hoping. That is it. Just hoping. But if you say 13 episode order for all, I start thinking about shows that got on the air not even half that amount?
Glad it is just TV.
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I honestly was blown away by this finale. Sure, there were some bits that straight up didn't make sense. A lot of people have mentioned the fact that Kylie didn't get searched before shooting the president, which would never happen because her dad shouldn't realistically have the authority to order around secret service anyway. More importantly though, the whole kidnapping thing made no sense whatsoever, as Christine was kidnapped and then somehow ransomed off to Kylie, even though the kidnapped would have no way of knowing that she should be contacted. And since he was wasn't expecting the Navy Seal guy to show up, I can't even think of an intermediary that would have alerted Kylie that her not-public -but-rather-secret-friend had been kidnapped in the first place.

All that aside though, I completely understand why these things had to happen, what with the cancellation at all. That being said though, this episode was still incredible. It was moving and filled with raw emotion, and it was had quite a bit of action. It was funny too, especially the part where Sam and Marcus argued about who was crazier. Ultimately though, this finale provided a somewhat realistic wrap-up that managed to be entertaining and have substance, and also end most everyone's stories at the end, in a nicely orchestrated manage that while it was a bit too quick and sporadic, was still very beautiful.

In just 13 episodes, this show became unforgettable. That image of Marcus wearing those sunglasses will be etched into the memory until the day I die. I just hope that everyone who worked on this show realizes that they created an incredible work of art here, and that even though they technically failed in terms of ratings and what-not, they won where it matters. It's always refreshing to see believable, entertaining, three-dimensional characters on television, as were the ones that populated this show, and I am sad to have to say goodbye to them so soon. I just hope that when Shawn Ryan and company launch their next masterpiece, they'll be smart and go the cable route. Unless, by that time, network television has stopped throwing good shows out in the cold without any clothes or food to see if they can survive. Yeah, probably not.
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They obviously changed the kidnapping storyline to give it a happy ending, it looked to me like originally the Navy Seal guy was going to do something different to Christine - probably ransom her to other powerful, rich people (whoever that may be) as he only cared about Kylie's money and not really her intentions.
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" the part where Sam and Marcus argued about who was crazier."especially since they were asking someone crazier then anyone else on the show.

I agree with your post and especially the statement "I just hope that when Shawn Ryan and company launch their next masterpiece, they'll be smart and go the cable route. "...I hope Shawn Ryan thinks that way also.
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Makes you wonder why every episode couldn't be just as gut wrenching.
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I watched this every week and I am a lady...but loved the action..I was so sad to see this go and it had so much that is could have done if given the chance. I was glad to see cap. Marcus go down with the sub. that is the only way it could have gone..With the sun glasses on and making that big ol laugh...but I wished he would have shot his nukes off too....and omg why didn't Serrate get shot in the head please....I hated that man...the show did have wtf moments but it tried to wrap things up even if it was cut short...at lest it tried..I will miss you Last Resort...and yes ABC you've been warned...
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I had really hoped that the in-show canon would have had the last episode take place on December 21, 2012. Then the show could have ended with Marcus launching off all his nukes & bringing about the Mayan-pocalypse.
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They found out this would be their finale while they were shooting episode 12. Now if that's not pressure, I don't know what is. All things considered, this was an amazing episode.

RIP Last Resort, a show that should have lived for 5 seasons but instead only lived a mere 13 episodes.

Oh yeah, and **** you ABC for putting this at 8PM against the Big Bang Theory. That is all.
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